Skip to comments.Vietnam veteran honored with medals 50 years later
Posted on 08/28/2018 4:15:31 AM PDT by advance_copy
LAKE MILLS David Groe of Lake Mills initially thought Fridays ceremony recognizing his service during the Vietnam War would be a low-key affair.
Instead, he and his family walked into the Lake Mills High School gym to see a crowd of students, veterans and other community members on hand to witness the ceremony.
An old friend and neighbor of Groes Terry Branstad, U.S. Ambassador to China and the former governor of Iowa gave the main address.
It was pretty overwhelming, Groe said. I didnt expect all of that.
Like many Vietnam veterans, Groe never got his medals. Fifty years later, he is finally going to receive them.
Charise Schwarm of Lake Mills worked with U.S. Rep. Steve King to help Groe get his awards and citations.
The medals still hadnt arrived by Friday, and King wasnt able to attend the ceremony for Groe.
However, Branstad, a former Lake Mills resident who served as governor of Iowa before being named an ambassador, read a letter King wrote to Groe.
I hope you will continue to share your wartime experiences so the next generation may know the history that makes our country great, King stated in the letter.
Groe was in the U.S. Marine Corps from September 1966 to September 1969. After basic training, he served in Vietnam for more than a year.
During his time in the Marines, Groe earned the following awards and citations: National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Vietnam Service Medal with two service stars and Rifle Marksmans Badge.
Many Vietnam veterans werent treated well and did not receive the recognition they deserved at the time, according to Branstad.
Im proud to say that has changed, he said.
(Excerpt) Read more at albertleatribune.com ...
Good on Governor Terry Branstad and Congressman Peter King for recognizing this US Marine's service. Long overdue.
I hope you will continue to share your wartime experiences so the next generation may know the history that makes our country great,
Back in Junior High (around 1975) our history teacher was out for a long time (cancer?). We had a sub for half the year - he was a Vietnam vet, a grunt. Every Friday he spent the 50 minutes of class showing us his slides from the war and telling stories.
His stories are about all that I remember from Junior High!
A wonderful and correct thing to do. We need to do more for these guys.
Between LBJs mismanagement and Nixons inability due to Congress and 5th column news media we never finished a job that could have been finished.
Robin Olds was a multiple fighter ace and his service spanned from WW2 through Vietnam.
When Olds came home it was to brief the President and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His words with then President Lyndon B. Johnson were few, “Get us out of this GD war!”
When LBJ asked how, Olds replied, “It’s simple, sir - win it!
Unfortunately, no won wars since WW2
Grenada, but it was more of a police action than a war. Your point still stands.
Remember the 10 Americans who died there and the 115 wounded.
And that they killed 25 Cubans and wounded/captured hundreds more who were there to take American Medical students hostage.
But yeah, you could call it a police action.
In my eyes, she will always be a far greater hero than McCain. About 10-15 years ago, for her 80th birthday, we planned a big family get together. I was unable to make it, but I wrote letters to the PA congressional delegation, and senior leadership of the Army (this was during the Bush years) just to see if any were willing to write or in any way recognize her birthday and her years of service. The only office to respond was Sen. Santorum's, who sent a very nice letter, thanking her for her service to the nation.
Hey Clint Eastwood fought there.
As did a work buddy.
Currently, the National Defense Service Medal is the oldest service medal in use by the United States Armed Forces. The oldest continuously issued combat medal is the Medal of Honor.
The Navy version has navy blue, yellow, and red horizontal stripes, and is the only Navy ribbon having horizontal stripes. To distinguish between the two versions of the Presidential Unit Citation, the Navy version which is more often referred to simply as the Presidential Unit Citation, is referred to as the Navy Presidential Unit Citation and sometimes as the "Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation", the Army and Air Force version is referred to by the Army and Air Force as the Army Presidential Unit Citation and Air Force Presidential Unit Citation. The ribbon is worn by only by those Navy and Marine service members who were assigned to the unit for the "award period" of the award.
The medal was awarded for two different periods of service in Vietnam. The first period for the award was from 8 March 1949 to 20 July 1954. The second period was from 1 January 1960 to the end of the Vietnam War.
For a Marine to earn a marksmanship qualification badge, they must obtain a passing score at an annual weapons qualification event. To earn a Marine Corps Rifle Qualification Badge, a Marine must successfully complete multiple tables of fire to include the Fundamental Rifle Marksmanship Table, the Basic Combat Rifle Marksmanship Table, the Intermediate Combat Rifle Marksmanship Table, and the Advanced Combat Rifle Marksmanship Table. These tables require a Marine to engage human silhouettes at varying distances, positions, and scenarios within an allotted time. To earn a Marine Corps Pistol Qualification Badge, a Marine must successfully complete three phases of fire which include weapons handling, stationary target engagement, and scenario based target engagements. Similar to the rifle tables, the pistol phases require a Marine to engage human silhouettes at varying distances and scenarios within an allotted time. After qualifying, a Marine will receive a marksmanship badge commensurate with the score they obtained. For annual qualification with the service rifle, scores range from 305350 for expert, 280304 for sharpshooter, and 250279 for marksman. For annual qualification with the service pistol, the scores range from 345400 for expert, 305344 for sharpshooter, and 245304 for marksman.
I served in Southeast Asia 4 tours 67-71. Some of those medals are placed on a members DD-214 when separated. Like most of us never having ceremonies, but are entitled to purchase these awards and wearing them on your Class A uniform. The original DD 214 states every medal when separated.
That's a nice story, but I feel a need to clarify some things.
The term "awards" is a bit of an exaggeration. With the exception of the Marksman Badge, none of the medals are for individual effort. The National Defense Service Medal was given to everyone in the military, regardless of where they served. The Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Vietnam Service Medal were given to everyone who served in Vietnam. The Presidential Unit Citation is, as the name implies, an award given to everyone in the unit.
I get touchy about this because the media here too often refer to military members as "highly decorated" when the ribbons they wear are service awards, not decorations. A decoration is an award for individual merit. My friend, *****, is a decorated veteran (Bronze Star, Purple Heart). Although I wore three rows of ribbons when I retired, none of them were decorations. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
OK, I'll get off my soapbox now.
How was the Korean War lost? I understand that it has not technically ended with a formal peace treaty, but was not the stated objective of preserving the status quo ante achieved?
Did not the First Gulf War do the same? Were not the Iraqi military in fact defeated in the Second Gulf War and the whole country occupied afterward? Did we also lose the War of 1812?
I can understand how someone might object to the resolution of wars since 1945 as not concluding with satisfactory results, in so far as broader objectives should have been the goals. But I really cant see how anyone can objectively argue that conflicts in this period have all been lost.
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